Daily Express
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Anwar slams Hisham's handling of crisis

Published on: Friday, March 28, 2014

Penampang: Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim called on Defence Minister-cum-Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein to resign for "failing to handle the MH370 crisis, efficiently".

He said Hishammuddin should take responsibility for the failure of the Marconi radar set up in Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu that could have detected the movement of flight MH370 from the East to the West coast of the peninsula.

"When I was Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, I signed a document to approve the setting up of the radar whereby the operations are secret but the technology which we purchased from Italy and United Kingdom (UK) is not.

"So, who is responsible for this? Since radar and its operation are under the Defence Ministry, then Hisham is responsible. The radar also has the technology to detect Malaysian flight movements from the South China Sea up to the Indian Ocean."

Anwar, who is also Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) adviser, was commenting on whether someone should resign for failing to handle and manage the MH370 crisis. He said this in a press conference after delivering a talk at the launching of 'Himpunan Reformasi 2.0' at the residence of Honorsius Bosuin at Kg. Ramayah, here, on Wednesday.

The agenda of Himpunan Reformasi 2.0 is to fight against poor governance, corruption and racism, to spread people's basic rights as well as go against abuse of religion and race.

Some 1,000 people attended the talk that was also attended by National PKR Sec-Gen Datuk Saifuddin Nasution, PKR Sabah Chairman Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin, former State Secretary Tan Sri Simon Sipaun, and other officials.

Referring to his recent sodomy case in which he was jailed 5 years, he said: "I fear not to be jailed. I fear only Allah. They can send me to jail again, and I will continue to speak up for the people and against Umno.

I will fight the corrupt Umno leaders till the end."

Anwar claimed that the ruling government had not practiced transparency, had poor governance and lack of accountability in addressing the national crisis, which has smeared Malaysia's image at the international level.

"When there is a national crisis, you (leader) must know how to manage and the Prime Minister cannot disappear. And there were too many statements issued by relevant authorities that did not match and these made the people confused.

"What the government should have done was assign one person with full authority to take charge and coordinate well with the other authorities involved in the investigations of locating the plane.

"Until today, nobody explained about the Marconi radar when the world knows about the system. You cannot say that 'we do not see (the plane) and say that you are not sure'Éthis is the problem," he said.

Anwar also claimed that the government did not share the information with China when the latter asked for the satellite images and information.

"When the Prime Minister announced that the plane ended at the Indian Ocean, China asked for the satellite imagesÉ why is it difficult to give?

Why so secretive about all this?

"Last time, people said you (the government) are hiding information and not being forthcoming, and yet announcing about the plane without sharing the information.

"That was why the issue of governance was being highlighted and reported by the international media like Wall Street Journal, Hindustan Times and Chinese media that Malaysia has no transparency, no free media and lack of accountability," he said.

Anwar claimed that the people would get angry when vital information is not shared and will start questioning the source of the interpretations.

"China and Vietnam are angry because they know about the capabilities of our radar at Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu that could read (about the movement of the MH370) and why were they not being informed earlier.

"It is not cheap to deploy planes, submarines and vessels for the search and rescue operation when, only after nine days, they were told that the plane actually went to the other sideÉthis shows that you are not sharing information," he said.

Nonetheless, Anwar said he understands that the Government has to handle the crisis but he hoped the Government would manage it well.

Anwar who is also the MP for Permatang Pauh said the result from the Kajang by-election in Selangor showed that PKR and Pakatan Rakyat have the support of 60pc of the electorates and that PKR has the support of the majority of Malays too.

"So all the talks by Umno leaders that PKR is only supported by the Chinese and Indian communities proved false.

Earlier PKR Sabah chairman Datuk Lajim Ukin said in his talk that the party will continue to fight for the people's rights and interests are well-served as stipulated in the 20-Point during formation of Malaysia.

He said PKR headquarters has given autonomous power to Sabah through its party constitution in line with the Malaysia Agreement 1963.

"Pakatan Rakyat (PR) would make decisions based on consensus in the coalition when discussing certain issues or recommendations.

"When DAP, for instance, does not agree, then PR would not implement unlike the ruling coalition," he said.

Lajim also said PKR will continue to fight for the 20 per cent oil royalty for Sabahans as the State is the biggest producer of oil and gas.